Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

7. Penguin Café OrchestraOskar Und Leni

As someone always being considered as a "new classical" artist, I always want to praise them for really being the first ones who used classical instruments in a band context. Brian Eno really had a good call on producing them. I think that a lot of people also refer to Rachel’s as being the first sign of new classical music but these guys were much earlier and I feel like they really achieved a lot by treating it like a band. It’s not about having this instrument and this instrument but they wrote the music for the collective.

There are other classical musicians who are the same as [Tia] Fuller’s quartet, who are a really strong band in a way, but then they don’t write so much original music. Penguin Orchestra always played their own music – so they were really clearly a band, but they used very classical and uncommon instruments. So they were doing what we’re doing… but a long, long time before we did.

A lot of people don’t know that new classical music was first [performed] by Stravinsky; Stravinsky was the new classical. But new classical is the wrong term – I never liked it, but I’m stuck with it now; give me something cool like "neo jazz".

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